The Missing…a continuation…unedited…

Hank Calder walked home in the dark. He liked the dark, it soothed the rage he kept hidden in his heart. His temporary home was a small house in the center of town. It was the perfect spot from which to notice the happenings of town, and to get to know the habits of the police.

Of course, this was only a temporary home. Every two weeks he would change locations. Then, he would move on to another small home and continue his reconnaissance.

His mission required extreme discipline. He could not waver in his steadfastness, or his mission would crumble into shambles. The world depended on Hank to correct the failures of the government.

Hank sat on his loveseat and kicked off his shoes. He leaned back into the soft cushions and closed his eyes. His house was dark, save for the one lamp that was in the corner by his desk The soft glow of white light made for a nice contrast.

His desk was empty except for the MacBook that held his manifesto. If something untoward happened to Calder, he wanted the world to know why he’d done the things necessary for the preservation of humanity. He walked from the sofa into the kitchen and made himself a cup of coffee. Then, he sat at the desk and powered on his laptop.

In the glow of the lamp, he began to type.

I was once like you. At the ripe age of 18 I joined the Armed Forces of my country. I swore an oath, and I meant every word, to defend this country from ALL enemies. The enemies are here, they’re in our own government, and they have corrupted the idea of what we stand for. You don’t negotiate with cancer, and you don’t negotiate with your enemies.

I was a member of an elite reconnaissance unit until they discovered the depths of my beliefs. They could not understand my level of devotion to this country. I was given a general discharge and sent back into the world.

In hindsight, I thought their unfaithfulness to me was a personal slight. I was wrong. Their misunderstanding of my core beliefs was the green light for me to carry out my mission. I am sanctioned to remove the weak from the strong. To show the weakness of the polices enacted by those in power.

I am not a mere mortal; I am Judgement Day given purpose. Prepare yourself for the culling.”

Lilly sat at her desk and watched as Konan walked into the room. The homicide office, called the Murder Room by those who worked in other departments, was a medium-sized rectangle. Lilly waved her friend over to her corner office.

Konan noticed Lilly looked a bit peakish.  Her face had an odd tint, the same tint it had at the pub earlier, and a brown paper bag lay on the corner of her desk, alongside a bottle of nausea medication. She motioned for Konan to sit in one of the free chairs in front of her desk.

“Thanks for coming in, Konan. Of course, if you would accept your badge back, this would be easier.”

“How bad is it, Lilly?”

“I haven’t been yet. My stomach has acted up.”

“Ok, I’ll go check it out, and I will brief you tomorrow.”

Lilly leaned forward and took Konan by the hands. She gazed into his eyes. Konan swallowed and looked away.

“Please, take your badge back. Come back to work with us. Konan, we need you, heck, I need you.”

The last bit made Lilly uncomfortable. She knew it was true, but it was a raw kind of truth. “That’s the problem with the truth. It makes you uncomfortable, and puts you in the most precarious positions…”

“You’re too kind, Lilly. I’ll think about it. Give me until tomorrow. I will let you know.”

“Ok. That’s all I can ask for.”

Konan squeezed her hands and gave her a wink. It felt good to be wanted, but there was no time for him to give in to the elation he felt in his heart.

A deep-fried corpse needed his attention.

Tammy Bowen, chief medical examiner for Fredericksburg, wiped at her mouth. The stench of death, coupled with the smell of burnt flesh had caused her to rush into the yard and empty the contents of her stomach. The fire department had responded to the call first. Once the blaze was put out, they’d discovered the body. Konan pulled up in time to see Bowen fall to her knees and vomit. He walked through the small metal gate and sipped his coffee.

“Pretty gruesome in there, I take it.”

Bowen stared at Konan and cleared her throat. A tech handed her a bottle of water. She squished some water around in her mouth and spit it out.

“Yeah, it is pretty gruesome. Before you even ask, the body, what is left of a body, is in bad shape. I’m gonna need some time before I have any kind of information for you. And don’t expect a whole lot of information to come from it.”

“Jeez, Tammy. You’re so negative.”

“Go in and look for yourself then, smartie.”

Konan walked into the house. Investigators of all stripes stood near the door; CSI techs searched for traces of evidence. Konan slipped on some gloves and stepped in.

The stench was the first thing he noticed. An overpowering smell of burnt meat was in the air. Konan wrinkled up his nose and took a shallow breath. If he wasn’t careful, he’d be on his knees in the yard throwing up his guts next to Bowen.

He walked into the sitting room. It was sparingly furnished. Even before the fire, the inhabitant had been a minimalist. The corpse was burnt to a crisp. Konan covered his mouth with the back of his right hand and looked away.

He closed his eyes and muttered, “Dear God in Heaven.” Tammy Bowen came and stood next to him.

“I told you it was gruesome.”

“The victim looks like a…”

“Overdone slab of meat?”

“Yeah. Is the corpse dehydrated?”

“Yep. Family won’t be able to identify them by facial features. I will have to verify identity by DNA. That’s going to take some time. Cause of death is going to be tricky. So is time of death. This won’t happen overnight.”

“Didn’t I see an episode of Bones where they hydrated a body? Can you do that?”

“You do realize that Bones is a fictional television show, right? And that ‘Bones’ works for the Smithsonian? We work for the town of Fredericksburg. What am I supposed to do here, Konan? Run a garden hose up the victim’s rump?”

“You could have said it was a dumb question, Tammy. There’s no need to be stupid about it,” Konan grumbled.

“Oh, okay then. That’s a stupid suggestion, Konan. Do you feel better now?”

“Let me or Lilly know what you find.”

“You or Lilly? Are you back on the force?”

“It’s starting to look like it.”

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